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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, May 12, 2017

"The once vibrant community of Fort Nelson, heralded as the forestry capital of British Columbia, Canada in 2006, now has a 70 per cent vacancy rate for commercial properties"...........Also at play is the Province's desire to protect the shrinking Caribou herd via instituting the BOREAL CARIBOU IMPLEMENTATION PLAN which limits the amount of road building and resource extraction that can take place..................As readers of this blog know, roads, infrastructure of any kind puts the Caribou in jeopardy because other ungulates like Moose and Deer move north into those "human cut-outs",,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,As those hoofed browsers move north, so do Wolves that prey on them....................The Wolves encounter the less able to defend themselves Caribou and just like that, Caribou population shrinkage occurs quickly...............The Wolves prey-switch to the Caribou,,,,,,,,,,,,,then us people blame the wolves,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,But the source of the problem is our continual building in caribou habitat which sets off the "pinball effect" that I just outlined

Province’s caribou plan threatens forestry restart in the Northern Rockies

 / Alaska Highway News
MAY 11, 2017 09:50 AM

The economic viability of the Northern Rockies hangs
 in the balance as the province’s new push to protect
 boreal caribou impedes the region’s planned
 rejuvenation of its forestry industry.
The province has launched a draft Boreal Caribou
 Implementation Plan, which protects vast swaths of
 forest, including areas the regional municipality had 
targeted for timber harvesting, and where locals say
 caribou don’t live.
“I’m speaking to you from a community that, quite
 honestly, without exaggeration in many ways is
 fighting for its economic life,” said Mike Gilbert,
 community development officer for the Northern
 Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM).
The once vibrant community of Fort Nelson, heralded 
as the forestry capital of B.C. in 2006, now has a 70
 per cent vacancy rate for commercial properties.
 For residential rental accommodation, the vacancy
\ rate exceeds 40 per cent.our ability to restart the forest industry here because
 certain areas that would be excluded (from
 harvesting under the plan) would really make
 it difficult for industry to re-establish, just because 
of where they’re located,” Gilbert said. 
The Northern Rockies was hit hard in 2008 when 
the U.S. housing market crash led to the closure
 of two large-scale timber-processing plants in
 Fort Nelson. Since then, the municipality has 
been working to restore its forestry sector. 
Many loggers turned to the oil and gas industry
 for work, but oil and gas activity has slowed
 considerably with the economic downturn.
A concerted effort to restore forestry in the
 region was launched in 2013, called the
 Forestry Rejuvenation Project, which was
 designed to address the issues that led to
 the collapse of its forestry sector. Those 
efforts are now in jeopardy with the province’s
 release of the BCIP—deemed by the NRRM 
to be unsatisfactory—for public commentary. 
“I urgently request your government stop plans
 by Ministry of Environment staff to release a 
draft copy of the Boreal Caribou Implementation
 Plan (BCIP) for public comment later this 
month,” Mayor Bill Streeper told Premier
 Christy Clark in a March 21 letter.
Although the province and the Northern
 Rockies had been negotiating the BCIP for
 more than a year, the municipality wasn’t
 satisfied enough was being done to protect
 its socioeconomic interests.
“No substantive changes to address our
 concerns in the BCIP have resulted, and key
 information and data promised have yet to 
be forthcoming. It is our opinion that, in its
 present state, the plan is not ready for
 release for public comment,” the letter
The Northern Rockies wanted the plan to
 reflect a balance between conservation and
 regeneration as well as socioeconomic values, 
“which, in our estimation, were lacking,” 
Gilbert said in an interview.
“We think that can be done, there’s 
compatibility there, one does not preclude
 the other. But that requires then that we go
 back and look at the science,” he said, stressing 
a need to determine how much of the dwindling 
caribou numbers is attributable to human 
activity and how much to other factors.
Former logger and current NRRM Coun. Danny
 Soles believes predation—wolves and bears 
eating caribou calves—is one of the primary
 factors impacting the population, and that
 restricting land access is not the solution.
“It’s a plan that doesn’t really have the potential
 to address the problem,” he said, particularly 
because it doesn’t take predation into account,
 and also because some areas slated for
 protection, and which were formerly logged,
 did not and do not support caribou.
“In order for caribou to survive they need 
grass, they are a grass eating animal...the 
forest that the logging has historically taken
 place in had no grass growing under it,” he
 said, adding that it therefore was not
 caribou habitat.
Soles, who holds the forestry portfolio for
 the NRRM, was a logger in Fort Nelson from
 1979 to 2008. He believes the ministry hasn’t

 looked into the issue carefully enough.
“As a logger, what’s relevant to me is that
the original plan didn’t even recognize that
 the Northern Rockies had a forestry history,
 and therefore the map was overlaid as though
 there were no forest activity in the past, which
 is just crazy because we were the forestry 
capital of B.C. in 2006,” he said.
“The woodland caribou don’t inhabit the forest
 lands we harvested, they don’t inhabit it at all,
 so why would they exclude it as though that
 is a measure to preserve caribou?”
The BC Ministry of Environment, not able to
 provide comment for this article due to the writ
 period of the election, released the plan for
 public commentary despite the NRRM’s
 wishes, but agreed the NRRM would be
 involved in the preparation and review of 
the final product, according to Gilbert.
In the midst of these talks, the Ministry
 of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource
 Operations committed $50,000 for the 
creation of a joint community forest, with
 the funds being handled equally by the
 Fort Nelson First Nation and the regional
It will be a working forest, including
 harvesting, tree planting and related
 activities, according to Soles. The 
boundaries of this forest have not yet
 been determined. 
Anyone interested in reading the plan 
can do so on the website.
 Public comments are being accepted
 until May 31, 2017, and can be emailed

THEME: Protecting


 woodland caribou

 © Canadian Geographic

Initiatives under

 the Agreement

New logging and road building have now been suspended on
 some 29 million hectares of Forest Products Association of 
Canada (FPAC) member company tenures. This is one of the
 commitments set forth in the Canadian Boreal Forest 
Agreement to protect species at risk in the boreal.
The area under suspension is subject to third-party verification
 and is part of a projected protected-areas network outlined in
 the Agreement. Among other things, this will allow for the
 development of caribou action plans to identify habitat-
appropriate conservation methods and other practices
 that will aid in the recovery of the boreal woodland caribou,
 while minimizing the negative effect on fibre supply, industry
 employment and mills.

What does this mean?

As part of the Agreement, environmental organizations,
 FPAC and FPAC member companies will work together
 to identify caribou habitat risks on specific tenures, develop
 land-use plans and consider other species-protection
 practices. This scientific knowledge will then be overlaid
 with social and economic concerns to form the basis of 
the proposed caribou action plans.
These plans must then be approved by provincial
 governments. Until then, the signatories of the Agreement
 have decided to implement the plans to the best of their 
ability without breaking the law. To that end, they have 
created milestones, objectives and a timeline to track 
achieved goals and commitments.

For more information, visit

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